News / Asia

US Satisfied With UN Statement on S. Korea Ship Sinking

In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan
In this April 24, 2010 file photo, a giant offshore crane salvages the bow section of the South Korean naval ship Cheonan

The State Department Friday expressed satisfaction with a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, though it stops short of directly blaming North Korea for the attack. A spokesman called North Korean claims of victory on the issue overblown rhetoric.

Officials here say the statement achieved the aims of the United States and its ally South Korea, and they are dismissing a claim by North Korea's U.N. ambassador that the outcome was a diplomatic victory for Pyongyang.

The product of weeks of diplomatic negotiations, the statement was approved unanimously by the Security Council Friday.

It condemned the March 26 sinking of the South Korean navy ship the Cheonan, while expressing deep concern over the findings of a South Korean-led inquiry that the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo.

The careful wording of the statement is seen as a concession to China, North Korea's neighbor and main benefactor.

But in a talk with reporters, State Department Acting Spokesman Mark Toner declined to criticize the Chinese role in the U.N. diplomacy, saying the  United States is happy the Security Council spoke with one voice.

Toner called it a strong statement and that the message to North Korea is clear.

"It accomplishes our goals along with the Republic of Korea and our partners in the council," he said. "It provides a unanimous condemnation of the attack. It legitimizes the findings of the joint civilian-military investigation group, and their finding of North Korean responsibility. It also praises the Republic of Korea for their restraint in handling the incident."

Asked about the North Korean assertion of a diplomatic victory in the U.N. deliberations, Toner said he would not react to what he termed overblown rhetoric.

He declined to discuss any possible follow-on action on the Cheonan incident, saying it is time for North Korea to, in his words, absorb the magnitude of its actions.

The White House said the U.N. statement constitutes an endorsement of the findings of the South Korean-led investigation, and warns Pyongyang that the world community will not tolerate such aggressive behavior against South Korea.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a written statement she will visit Seoul later this month for futher consultation.

On another issue, the State Department said a diplomat from Sweden, which represents U.S. interests in North Korea, was allowed on Friday to visit a U.S. citizen jailed in North Korea who reportedly tried to commit suicide.

Spokesman Toner said the consular visit to the American, Aijalon Mahli Gomes, came at the request of North Korea, but citing privacy considerations he gave no details of Gomes' condition or where the visit took place.

Gomes was sentenced to eight years hard labor in April after being found guilty of illegally entering the country last January.

The official North Korean news agency said he tried to kill himself over feelings of guilt, and despair that the United States has not tried to gain his freedom.

Spokesman Toner said the United States is concerned about Gomes' welfare and reiterated a call for his immediate release on humanitarian grounds.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid